Predictors of vitamin D status in subjects that consume a vitamin D supplement

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan;69(1):84-9. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.133. Epub 2014 Jul 16.


Background/objective: Although dietary supplement use has increased significantly among the general population, the interplay between vitamin D supplementation and other factors that influence vitamin D status remains unclear. The objective of this study was to identify predictor variables of vitamin D status in free-living subjects to determine the extent to which vitamin D supplements and other factors influence vitamin D status.

Subjects/methods: This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study involving 743 volunteers. Serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) level and the variables diet, supplement usage, latitude of residence, ethnicity, age and body mass index (BMI) were used to predict vitamin D status in a summer and winter cohort.

Results: Supplemental vitamin D3 consumption was the most significant positive predictor, whereas BMI was the most significant negative predictor, of vitamin D status in each cohort. Other positive predictors were fortified beverage and dairy consumption in the summer and winter cohort, respectively. Negative predictors were: African American, Asian and Hispanic race in the summer; latitude of residence >36°N, Asian and Hispanic ethnicity in the winter. Mean(± s.d.) 25(OH)D levels were 101.1 (± 42.1) and 92.6 (± 39.0) nmol/l in summer and winter, respectively. Comparing non-supplement vs supplement users, approximately 38 vs 2.5% in the winter and 18 vs 1.4% in the summer had vitamin D levels <50 nmol/l.

Conclusions: Vitamin D supplementation was the most significant positive predictor of vitamin D status. Collectively, these data point to the practicality of utilizing vitamin D supplements to reduce hypovitaminosis D in adults throughout the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dairy Products
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*


  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D